A new campaign has been launched in Lincoln to highlight the effects of severe heart failure, a condition commonly caused by a heart attack.
Hope, part of the British Heart Foundation (BHF)’s Mending Broken Hearts campaign, aims to challenge misconceptions about the condition.
New research released by the BHF shows that 73% of people in the East Midlands are unaware of heart failures’ effects, while 33% believed that heart failure meant the heart had stopped working, when people with severe heart failure can actually often suffer for a long time.
Rachael Gavin, heart failure complex case manager at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: “Patients living with heart failure experience symptoms which can have a profound effect on their everyday living activities such as breathlessness at rest and on minimal exertion, swollen feet, legs and abdomen, overwhelming fatigue and a reduced appetite.
“There are approximately 750,000 people in the UK living with heart failure [more than 6,850 in Lincolnshire], and although there are medical therapies and device therapies to improve the patients symptoms, quality of life and length of life there is no cure.”
Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the BHF, said: “More and more people are surviving heart attacks due to the huge advances we’ve made in cardiology, but that isn’t the end of the story. A heart attack causes damage which can leave a person facing a horrendous daily struggle.
“We believe a cure for heart failure is a goal we can achieve. We want to advance the science so that when someone has a heart attack, doctors have the tools to help repair the heart. What we need now is for the public to help us fund this research and take it from the laboratory bench to the hospital bedside.”
The City of Lincoln Council is working with BHF this year to become Lincoln Heart City, a partnership which aims to increase awareness and improve the health of local residents.
The Right Worshipful, the Mayor of Lincoln, Councillor Karen Lee, said: “As a cardiac nurse, I am well aware of the importance of good heart health and am proud to support the British Heart Foundation’s Mending Broken Hearts campaign. Research into this area is vital to helping the many people who suffer as a result of heart conditions.”